They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
That opportunity came calling last night. Our cook has taken a few days off, to visit the Konkan coast to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and the subsequent immersions. She left behind a replacement cook, whose food, I have frankly not been enjoying very much.
So last night I took a call that it had to be a pasta night - this is something Neeti had to agree to, for shee too freaks out on Italian! We chose the simplest kinds, that could easily be done after over 13 grueling hours out of home!
Out of our cupboards came out a packet of Del Monte pasta, which was boiled. After boiling for over 10 minutes, the tubular penne rigate pasta was al-dente, we put in a whole lot of ice cubes to stop the boiling water from overcooking the pasta. After draining the water, the pasta was mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of pesto sauce, heaped generously.
Pesto sauce has been a recent introduction into my very prized kitchen storage. Pesto originated in Genoa, hence the term pesto genovese. Traditionally Pesto is made from crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with olive oil, parmigiano-reggiano, and fiore sardo (cheese made from sheep's milk, a specialty of Sardinia).
It is said that the name pesto is derived from the Genoese word pestâ, which means to pound, to crush, as was done traditionally with marble mortar and wooden pestle. Somewhat like how the name of the Spanish specialty paella has been derived from the Latin term patella!
We added about 10 pitted green Del Monte olives and a tablespoon of capers. And this was mixed with a table spoon of Del Monte extra virgin olive oil.
We sprinkled a finely grated helping of parmigiano-reggiano - something that we more commonly know as parmesan, the hard Italian cheese that comes from Parma - the region that is also known for the so very delicious prosciutto crudo or Parma ham!
We microwaved the pasta for about 90 seconds on full heat and enjoyed the aroma that wafted out of the microwave! And it tasted great great too!
Man, I envy the Italians so much, for they have all these delightful delicacies day in and day out! I do love Indian food, but get bored with too much of one kind, as I crave for variety - delicacies from all over - Japanese, European, Lebanese, Moroccan, Ethiopian and whatever you can randomly name - all that makes a worldfoody! And my kitchen is the laboratory in my quest for sampling delicacies from far and wide!